Thursday, January 2
Central Florida Presbytery
In Osceola County, right outside the affluence that defines Celebration, Florida, is a corridor of pain and brokenness: 10,000 persons without homes, including 2,400 children (one in four) in the school system. The program 60 Minutes accentuated the immense poverty in the shadow of Disney, “the happiest place on earth.” Community Presbyterian Church could not ignore the probing question of Matthew 25:44: “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?”
The congregation’s vision is to provide the comprehensive healing and restoration that Jesus Christ brings to humanity. The goal is not merely to put a Band-Aid on problems by meeting people’s immediate needs but to address the entire person and give people a hand up so they can escape the grip of poverty.
This vision began to be realized with the grand opening of the Community Hope Center in April 2013 through the faithfulness of the Lord and the hard work of many, including the 44 organizations partnering in the effort. The center focuses on persons who are homeless or living in motels along Osceola County’s Route 192. It works to restore their dignity and self-sufficiency through a holistic approach to case management, funds assistance, and life skills. Specifically, it provides gap services to clients not currently covered by other agencies and brings together congregations, social services agencies, the Osceola County and Kissimmee governments, and community businesses.
Community Presbyterian is one of 73 congregations in Central Florida Presbytery.
—Rev. Dr. William A. Lewis, pastor, Community Presbyterian Church, Kissimmee
Let us join in prayer for:
Dan Williams, transitional executive presbyter/stated clerk
Karen Daniel, office and finance manager
Ruthie Merced, administrative assistant
Jody Mask, administrative assistant
Cheryl Carson, leadership and resource coordinator
Barbara Sayles, hunger action enabler
Grover Crawford, treasurer
Let us pray
Gracious God, we thank you for your daily provision for us. We ask that you would open our eyes to see those who are lost, homeless, and weary. Amen.